"My music is queer because I'm queer. But queer artist is not a category. You can't make a playlist for queer artists because they're not all the same."
That's what King Princess had to say to The New York Times back in March 2020 on the topic of queer music. And, to a degree, she's right.
It's impossible to classify music strictly as "queer" because what does that even sound like? It's certainly not a genre with identifiable sonic characteristics like R&B or zydeco. And yet, in recent years, there's been an explosion of openly queer musicians. These rock (or pop or country or...) stars are living loud and proud lives across the LGBTQ spectrum while absolutely thriving in an industry that hasn't always been so welcoming.
So, while there is no such thing as queer music, there are queer artists. Lots of them, and in nearly every genre of music there is, too.
Pride Month may have ended a few weeks ago, but our celebration of the LGBTQ community never ends. And if you've been thinking your Apple Music library looks a little, well, straight, we've got your back with a list of queer artists who've taken the music world by storm these last few years. (But, whatever you do, don't call it a playlist.)
From import acts like Years & Years (whose frontman Olly Alexander celebrates his 30th birthday on July 15) and Pabllo Vittar to homegrown stars like Orville Peck, Victoria Monét and, yes, King Princess, these are the folx across all genres who've been in constant rotation in our world. And while the list is not meant to be exhaustive by any stretch of the imagination, it's a great place to start.